By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
16 August 2008
US ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney is blatantly lying by claiming that she was merely invited to witness the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), that she was ignorant of its content and that the US government had nothing to do with the GRP-MILF peace negotiations nor with the controversial MOA-AD.
It is a matter of public knowledge that on behalf of the US government she frequently travels to Mindanao and oversees US interests there, including US direct investments, military forces and pseudo-development projects. She has worked closely with the Philippine Facilitation Project of the US Institute of Peace in steering the course of GRP-MILF peace negotiations for the sake of US interests. The Filipino people know that the US covets the oil and other natural resources of Mindanao and wants to establish US military bases there to protect US imperial interests.
There is documentary evidence to prove that Ambassador Kenney is lying. This is the Special Report 202 by the US Institute of Peace, titled “Toward Peace in the Southern Philippines” (A summary and assessment of the USIP Philippine Facilitation Project) and dated February 2008. The report declares, “In 2003 the US State Department …engaged the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to facilitate a peace agreement between the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF.”
It goes further, “Despite the challenges, USIP managed to build productive relationships with both the GRP and MILF, helped the parties come up with creative solutions to stubborn issues of ancestral domain, and started dialogue between disparate Moro ethnic groups.” It admits, “Through its activities, USIP introduced concepts and approaches that were useful to both government and MILF peace panels.”
The report is quite frank in admitting the selfish interests of the US, “Today’s complex diplomatic landscape increasingly requires new tools and techniques of conflict management, including quasi- and nongovernmental actors, to accomplish US foreign policy goals. Because of its ability to deal with nonstate actors and sensitive issues underlying civil conflict, USIP can be a useful instrument for advancing US interests.”
The USIP is funded by the US Congress and is an instrument of US foreign policy. But it misrepresents itself as an independent and nonpartisan institution. The chairman of the board is J. Robinson West who is chairman of PFC Energy, Washington. Members ex-officio are Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Executive director of the Philippine Facilitation Project is G. Eugene Martin, a retired diplomat who once served as the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Manila.
The US is not interested in a just and lasting peace in either Bangsamoro land or in the entire Philippines. It is interested solely or mainly in advancing US interests amidst conditions of armed conflict. It merely pretends to facilitate the GRP-MILF peace negotiations when its sees big advantages in doing so. But in the case of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, it has outrightly sabotaged them by designating the revolutionary forces as “terrorist” and emboldening the Arroyo regime and its military forces to engage in gross and systematic human rights violations under the guise of combating “terrorism”. ###